More satellites will create spacetraffic problem: Kasturirangan

 thehindu.com  12/04/2019 19:10:43 

Though there are technologies in place to tackle space debris, the move by certain organisations, including SpaceX, to have a constellation of 40,000 satellites in space, is a matter of serious concern, the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K. Kasturirangan said here on Wednesday.

Delivering a lecture on Forays into the space and beyond at St. Aloysius College, Mr. Kasturirangan said that SpaceX intends to have a constellation of 40,000 satellites by which it wants to provide internet across the globe and other facilities. The company, he said, has already launched 600 satellites. This is a major concern as it creates space traffic problem, he said and added that countries with expertise in the space domain should address this in right earnest.

The former ISRO Chairman said that there are some technologies in place to clear space debris. This includes technology by which disused satellites can actually be broomed. There was also another technology that uses laser beams to reduce satellites to small pieces [satellites get burnt in the atmosphere]. There was also the process of using the last few units of fuel in communication satellites to move them up or below the orbit and clear precious space, he said.

With Chandrayaan-2, Mr. Kasturirangan said, ISRO has succeeded in putting an orbiter that will move around the Moon for six years. This will help in the deeper study of the Moons surface.

There were glitches with regard to landing of the lander (in Chandrayaan-2). Unlike China, our scientists in the mission tried the extremely complex landing on a difficult terrain (of the Moon), he said and added that these glitches are great a lesson for future explorations on the Moon.

ISRO, he said, is taking up challenging space explorations in the coming years and institutions such as St. Aloysius College should get involved in the exercise.

Dionysius Vaz, Rector of St. Aloysius College Institutions, and Praveen Martis, Principal of St. Aloysius College, spoke.

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